The Present State Of Geothermal Development In Japan

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Journal Article: The Present State Of Geothermal Development In Japan

Before World War II, small geothermal test plants were made in Beppu in 1925 and in Otake in 1926, both located in Kyushu, for converting geothermal heat energy in the volcanic areas to electric power, based on the idea that volcanoes have enormous heat energy as seen in volcanic explosions. However, these trials were not successful. In 1950, the Geological Survey of Japan began research and investigation of geothermal activities and resources. Among the areas where preliminary investigation was made, eighteen areas had been selected for detailed investigation since 1950 by the Geological Survey, prefectural governments and private companies. In this paper, the data on general geology, thermal indications, the methods of prospecting, subsurface structure, the size and depth of wells, physical and chemical properties of geothermal products, utilization and development programmes in twelve areas will be explained. Among them, Matsukawa area, in northeast Japan has a geothermal power plant of 20,000 kW constructed by Nihon Jukako Co., Ltd. in 1966 and Otake area, Kyushu, has a power plant of 13,000 kW constructed by Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd. in 1967. To obtain more amount of geothermal steam, they are doing detailed survey in outside areas. In addition to these areas, four areas are under investigation for development. To promote geothermal development in Japan, the Japan Geothermal Energy Association was established in 1960. Since that time it works to collect data on geothermal resources, publishing the journal named Chinetsu (Geothermal Energy) and making educational campaigns for geothermal development. The Committee of Geothermal Resources organized in this Association is doing research on the problem of the estimation of stored heat in the Japanese Islands.

K. Sato

Published Journal 
Geothermics, 1970



K. Sato. 1970. The Present State Of Geothermal Development In Japan. Geothermics. (!) .